When Lois Margolet first opened Capriotti's Sandwich Shop in Wilmington, Delaware, 36 years ago, she and her brother, Alan, worked from the second story of a boarded-up building, roasting 10–12 whole turkeys every night and churning out a “real turkey lover's” sandwich each day. Today, Capriotti's has expanded across 14 states, each location stacking the same award-winning hot and cold sandwiches, racking up such accolades as The Best of Las Vegas 2013 and Best of Delaware 2013 prizes from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Delaware Today, respectively, as well as being named one of "10 great places to bite into a surprising sandwich" by USA Today. Though the shop is still known for its slow-roasted-turkey creations—such as the Thanksgiving-inspired Bobbie, voted greatest sandwich in America by AOL's Lemondrop.com, piled with cranberry sauce and stuffing—its menu now ventures into the realm of roast beef, italian deli meats with such sandwiches as the capastrami, cheesesteaks, and vegetarian treats, such as meatless chicken and turkey.
Smashburger isn't just the name—it's the way chefs, otherwise known as Burger Smashers, cook every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. Each slab is then sandwiched in an artisan bun and is turned into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market.
This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the restaurant does, from blending handspun shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded from one restaurant in 2007 to 220 today, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.
A coalition of ice arenas endorsed by the Dallas Stars, Dr Pepper StarCenters help nurture athletes of all ages and skill levels with activities on or off the ice. Dr Pepper StarCenters house NHL-regulation ice-hockey rinks that host hockey leagues for players of all ages, eradicating the need to play on dangerous frozen lakes dotted with irritable frozen geese. StarCenters' skate academies instill students with the fundamentals of ice hockey or figure skating, allowing them to progress to hockey leagues and local skating competitions if they choose. To warm up after laps around the Euless ice rink, skaters can check out the onsite baseball stadium, batting cages, soccer fields, and Texas Star Golf Course. All locations are open for birthday parties and special events; see each location's website for details.
At Leet Computers, expert staff members harness their deep tech knowledge as they return mystifying Mac and PC gadgets to working order. For walk-ins and scheduled clients alike, they diagnose the root ailments of fractious electronics, facilitate data transfers, and enhance wireless-network security without having to enroll routers in self-defense seminars. Staffers can also build custom computer systems from the ground up based on customer specifications.
Elsewhere in the shop, an onsite LAN Café provides a space for gamers to immerse themselves in communal combat, selecting their cyber universes from a stock of more than 200 games. Patrons can rent the entire café for special events, such as birthday parties or typing-class reunions.
Texas Boot Camp Fitness's certified trainers fortify physiques with an ever-shifting compendium of exercises performed in an outdoor setting. Attendees of all fitness levels sprint and jump toward fitness goals, lifting their own body weight when performing pushups, chin-ups, and acts of levitation. Arms hoist weights, resistance bands stretch between partners, and friendly competitions reveal hidden stores of stamina and strength. Pushing beyond pure leadership of boot-camp classes, instructors supplement workouts with nutritional guidance and lifestyle advice. In the interest of safe and easy mirroring, coaches emphasize clean technique rather than speed or the benefits of cloning.
Premier Baseball Academy's instructors draw from their experience at the high school, college, and professional levels to help hone skills of players ranging from little leaguers to pros. In private and group lessons, the bat-swinging experts focus on areas such as strength and arm velocity with equipment including pitching mounds and five Iron Mike batting-cage machines that dispatch balls at adjustable speeds. The instructors hold practices for entire teams and lead camps that aim to cover all mental and physical aspects of the national pastime. The Academy also hosts several tournaments throughout the year and serves as a rescue shelter for stray team mascots.